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Cretan Cities: Formation and Transformation

 | 
Florence Gaignerot-Driessen
, 
Jan Driessen

8. Facing the Sea: Cretan Identity in a Harbour-city Context

Some Remarks on the Early Development of Itanos1

Didier Viviers et Athéna Tsingarida

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Despite recent studies (e. g. Sjögren 2003; Prent 2005; Erickson 2010), Crete is still often seen as an island that has stayed deliberately separate from the experiments developed elsewhere in the Greek world, at least from the late 7th c. BC onwards. Cretan society is generally considered to be traditional, isolated and hostile to any foreign influence. Aristotle (Pol. II. 10) is probably in part responsible for this image acknowledged in several studies discussing the cities of the island that strongly emphasize Cretan “traditionalism”. Cretan identity is frequently associated with “unchanging traditions” that are seen in multiple facets of Cretan life (crafts, institutions, economy, etc.). In this context, Crete seems to be a distant island, which more or less consciously, is a place kept apart from any foreign influence. Studies suggest that Cretan cities were hostile to both local outsiders – those from other cities of the island – and to foreigners, who might have come from ov...

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